In 1996, economic activity in Panama expanded fairly slowly (2.5%) for the second year in a row, after having grown at a very rapid pace in previous years. This relative slowdown, which did, nonetheless, yield a slight increase in per capita gross domestic product (GDP) supervened as some of the key sectors in Panama's economy- such as construction and the banana industry, which is the agricultural sector's largest export activity -began to lose the momentum they had exhibited in earlier years. Meanwhile, financial rehabilitation efforts enabled the country to take a major step forward by renegotiating its external debt under the Brady Plan, which made it possible for Panama to re-enter private international financial markets on favourable terms. In addition, the country consolidated its trade liberalization process by acceding to the Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO) These achievements were complemented by the ongoing recovery of major portions of the Panama Canal.

Related Subject(s): Economic and Social Development
Countries: Panama
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